What's Mightier Than the Pen?

So, every time I finish a new piece, I bring it into my office, outside of my work room...at my real day job where I make real money.  I photograph my pieces there because I have a pseudo-real photography studio and all my bracelets are featured in our showroom, open to the public.

So, picture my amazing newly finished fabulous new leather tote bag, freshly photographed and put up for sale on my website.  Days later, after many admirers handled said tote bag, I look over and I see it.  The worst possible thing.  There's a gigantic pen mark on the front of my tote.  Almost two inches of freshly ground ink on supple soft and luxurious lambskin.  I almost started to cry.  

I sent accusatory glances over all my co-workers who had handled my bag.  Which one of you could have had such resentment towards my innocent bag??  

It was going to be a mystery I couldn't solve.  What I could possibly figure out, though, was how to get pen marks out of soft supple lambskin (I still shake my head at the thought).

So, off I went to The Google.  The super computer sitting in my pocket revealed to me that everyone has an opinion on how to get ink out of leather.  Which one was going to work?

If it was any other material, the first thing I would have tried is hand sanitizer.  It's literally my favorite stain-removing go-to instant fixer.  I seriously love that stuff.  Also, it ended up being like the 3rd thing I tried cause I got desperate.  

So, here's all the things I tried and which one finally worked.  Please note, I tried all the methods first on a scrap piece of lambskin to see how they would effect the material.  I'm not a complete moron.

1. Hairspray.  This seemed like a really bad idea when I read about it but the directions seemed so authoritative that I tried it.  I used a white cloth, which I doused in hair spray.  I dabbed, not wiped, at the stain.  Nothing.  Also, the material got nasty and sticky and I followed it up with water, but that didn't help matters.

2. That glue eraser thing that all leather craft people have in their possession.  Not only does this not work, but it also makes a spot wear you are rubbing the leather lighter, so I definitely don't recommend.

3. The hand sanitizer.  Desperation has set in.  

4. A nail file.  I read about this on The Google but wasn't quite convinced.  I wasn't quite convinced until I actually tried it and it freaking worked!  Short strokes, long strokes, quick strokes.  I tried them all until I found the rhythm that worked.  I used the abrasive side and the softer side and neither ruined anything. Yep, not only did it work, but it didn't ruin the leather either.  If anything, it gave it a bit more character.  I used it with a dab of hand sanitizer and the duo worked like a charm.  It was shocking I know.  

Anyways, there's your magical solution.  The nail file –  Now, a staple in my leather accessory bin.  





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